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Towson running back Darius Victor's status unclear Saturday vs. No. 6 James Madison

If Towson harbors any hope of upsetting No. 6 James Madison Saturday at 3 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium, a healthy and effective Darius Victor would be extremely helpful.

As of coach Rob Ambrose's weekly conference call Monday afternoon, the junior running back's status is uncertain. Victor, who ranks third in the Colonial Athletic Association in rushing yards per game (114.0) and tied for third in rushing touchdowns (six), is battling a sprained ankle suffered in a 17-13 loss at Elon on Sept. 26, and Ambrose said he is unsure whether the Tigers (2-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference) will be able to feature Victor against the Dukes (5-0, 2-0).

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"He is better," Ambrose said. "He's not good, and I'll know more towards the end of the week."

The team knows it won't have freshman Shane Simpson, who registered 72 yards and one touchdown on nine carries after replacing Victor in the first quarter of that setback at Elon but underwent surgery on Monday and is out for the rest of the season.

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But Ambrose is hopeful that sophomores Marquel Dickerson and Evan Greenwood will be healthy enough to play if Victor can't. Dickerson (33 yards on 14 attempts in three games thus far) is a player whose potential has yet to be realized.

"They're getting better, and I've had some of them back in some periods in some practices," Ambrose said. "But I'll feel better when we get them all back. Marquel is what we believe to be a really, really good tailback. The 1-2 punch of he and Darius Victor was what we've been counting on and right now, we're not getting it out of him, and we need it if we're going to be successful."

James Madison limited Victor to 37 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries in a 62-7 rout on Oct. 11, 2014, but Dukes coach Everett Withers was not convinced that Victor would sit out Saturday's contest.

"It doesn't at all," Withers said of his team's defensive strategy changing if Victor is absent. "We expect him to play."

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